On June 17, 1996, injectable irinotecan hydrochloride
was approved as a treatment for metastatic
cancer of the colon
; it is also used to treat some lymphomas
. The drug is available under the generic
name irinotecan and is also marketed under the trade name Camptosar. The drug is normally prescribed in colorectal cancer
cases that haven't responded to standard treatment with the chemotherapy
. The drug is can cause nausea
, lowered white blood cell
counts, decreased platelet
counts (with an accompanying risk of bleeding), severe anemia
, fatigue, and gastrointestinal upsets.
This drug is a chemical relative of camptothecin and topotecan and is a a topoisomerase I inhibitor. It is given intravenously over the course of a 90-minute period.